"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
"The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin
I consider the dog done with the FF issues after we have completed the swim by process.....Steve S
"Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters
The dog is not FF until they know how to work through pressure and know how to turn off the the collar. This happens after force to water and T drills water on my flow chart, for the Retriever's
All dogs are a little different. My first one was a realy pain to get through the first steps of FF. She just didn't want to open her mouth, once the light went on she flew through the rest of the stages. Once I had her through collar fetch I never really had to worry about her dropping anything.
The one I have now was the complete opposite. She flew through the early ear pinch portion but she was still really mouthy when throwing marks and fun bumpers. I ended up sending her to a pro at that point and now she is very realiable but she is also through swimby.
For me it depends on what you want out of the dog? Are you looking for a finished retriever or do you just want a dog to pick up some birds for you.
I do agree with the others that when they are through swimby the FF process is complete.